Checkout Carhenge in the panhandle of Western Nebraska
Carhenge is whatever you want it to be: art or engineering, silly amusement or serious philosophy, life and death.
- Carhenge has been celebrated in movies (Carhenge: Genius or Junk?) and books (1000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die), as well as in music.
- The local high school class of 2004 turned a relic Cadillac into a time capsule to be opened in 50 years.
- Three foreign cars rest under a Toyota headstone, “Here lie three bones of foreign cars; They served our purpose while Detroit slept; Now Detroit is awake and America’s great!”
Carhenge echoes ancient Stonehenge, but unlike its prototype on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, it has no mysterious past or unknown purpose; it is not an imitator but is its own American classic. Call it a lesser cartoon of ersatz culture if you will–I admire it for innovation and playfulness within the envelope of technical know-how. So Jim Reinders, creative engineer, remembers his father who passionately loved cars and gives a glimpse of immortality on the open plains of western Nebraska. Winking broadly Carhenge was dedicated at the summer solstice of 1987 over a 1962 Cadillac heelstone. Thirty-eight vintage vehicles from the 50s to the 80s, bolted, fused together, inserted head first into the ground. This is modern Stonehenge American style. A site worth seeing according to 80,000 visitors each year!
Carhenge breathes new life
The city of Alliance, Nebraska, acquired Carhenge in 2011 after the Reinders family unsuccessfully sought a willing buyer at $300,000. The madcap car crowd that travels here are penny souvenir types, in some respects as unique in their tastes as the odd place that attracts them. The town fathers and local business owners hope to keep the stream of people coming. It’s an iconic part of local history and they’re committed to improve and elaborate the total experience.
Leave a note below to share what you think. How far off the beaten path would you be willing to go to visit Carhenge?